Fernwood, is an area on the western edge of Roseland community of the City of Chicago, between 99th and 103rd streets. It was considered an "upscale" neighborhood of Roseland and extended west into the Washington Heights community up to Halsted street. Sometimes referred to as West Roseland, it was incorporated in 1883. The area was known for a gardenlike parkway between 95th and 103rd streets along Eggelston that was known as Fernwood Parkway. Like the surrounding communities, the area was annexed into Chicago in 1891. It was the last village on the south side to be annexed to Chicago.
The area is noted for one of the worst race riots in Chicago history. In mid August, 1947, several black veterans and their families moved into the CHA Fernwood Park Housing Project at 104th and Halsted. Area residents viewed this as one of several attempts by the CHA to initiate racial integration into white communities. A violent mob action resulted which lasted for three days and mobilized over 1,000 law enforcement officers to control.
During the 1950s and '60s the community witnessed the combined effects of Blockbusting by unscrupulous real estate agents and the ensuing White Flight resulting in complete ethnic transition. Like the surrounding communities of Roseland and Washington Heights, Fernwood Park remains predominantly African-American.
- Arnold R. Hirsch, (1998) "Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960" page 54. The University of Chicago Press
- Chicago Tribune, August 17, 1947 page 10 "1,000 Policemen keep order at Homes Project"